A majority of Australia’s workforce is coping with alarming levels of stress. According to a 10-year research which involved 30,000 employees, 65.1% of the participants had reported experiencing moderate to high-stress levels. As a result, workers are experiencing the negative impact of stress on their physical and mental health which includes obesity, high blood pressure, and psychological distress.
But not only does stress affect workers—it can also have an impact on productivity and employee retention. A new survey reveals that stressed workers are 2 ½ times more likely to look for a new job in the next year than those who are not stressed.
While workers should find ways to cope in positive ways, the poll also showed that 85% of workers believe that it is the employer’s responsibility to create an environment to help them deal with stress. To improve overall performance and ensure the organisation’s success, here’s how leaders can help employees cope with stress.
Build interactive break rooms
One way that leaders and organisations can prevent the build-up of stress among employees is to give workers adequate break times. Working non-stop can be exhausting and counterproductive, and it can result to burn out. Provide interactive break rooms where employees can relax or recharge during their break time. Make your break room more comfortable by providing large, comfy couches and chairs where workers can rest and have conversations with their peers. Free beverages such as coffee or tea are a welcome perk and can help enhance their break times. You may also want to add a few extras such as a pool table and a sound system so workers can enjoy listening to music during their break.
Offer flexible work schedules
Many employees are stressed from trying to balance the demands of work with their responsibilities at home. Offering flexible work schedules and work arrangements can go a long way in keeping workers’ stress levels down. For instance, leaders can allow workers to telecommute on certain days. Even allowing workers with children to leave early so they can pick their kids up after school or attend their games will be a big help towards helping employees attain work-life balance.
Encourage employees to exercise
Even the most brilliant employee need to take some time to exercise as doing physical activity on a regular basis can help one to work smarter and have greater focus. Leaders should encourage workers to take time from their day to exercise, no matter how little time they have to devote to it. A 15-minute run on the treadmill or walk around the block is still better than doing nothing at all.
Try these steps to help your employees cope with stress. Not only will this help to improve their lives but doing so will also contribute to your organisation’s success in the long run.
Author: Jane Fisher